12 May 2014

One More from the Normandy: the ME3 DLC Post

So I just finished my second playthrough of the Mass Effect trilogy. It was a great, epic journey once again. And a long one. (Some 140 hours, at least, spread over the last six months or so—I tried to be as thorough as possible this time, probably doing a bunch of optional stuff I might have missed first time round.)

When I first played Mass Effect 3, a year ago, all the DLCs were already out, but I was somewhat low on funds and they were, all put together, pretty expensive. So I decided to postpone purchasing them, hoping they'd be on sale before too long. Well, they finally came on sale in the PSN store earlier this year, just a little before I was moving on to ME3 in my replay of the trilogy. So obviously I bought them all (the single player expansions, that is), meaning I had a ton of exciting brand new content for my playthrough. So, let me just go over those expansions briefly.

From Ashes features a new mission, revisiting Eden Prime. Some nice scenery, but the mission itself was hardly anything special. The 'meat' of this expansion, however, is a new squad member. And not just any squad member, but an actual living prothean. Who turn out not to be necessarily the nicest of peoples. But I don't want to spoil too much. Though not hugely important, it's a fun enough addition to the game, and obviously expands on some elements of the game's lore, which is always cool.

Leviathan has the team chasing after a mysterious being in several locations around the galaxy. The story builds on some concepts from the game's ending, particularly the origin of the Reapers. This was a fairly entertaining mission, overall, in my opinion, with a decent balance of action and story.

Omega sees Shepard helping Aria recover the Omega station from Cerberus forces. The loss of Omega was of course mentioned in the main game, but more importantly, this DLC ties in heavily with one of the Mass Effect comics, Invasion (which, of course, I re-read before embarking on my replay of ME3). As a mission, though, it's mostly pretty straightforward and linear combat, little more. While it was still a lot of fun and offered several hours of gameplay, in some ways it seemed perhaps the most overpriced of all these DLCs. You don't even get to revisit Omega again after finishing the mission or anything...

Citadel, on the other hand, features a pretty fun mission with plenty of variety and new areas to visit on the Citadel, along with a ton of little dialogue scenes with various characters, mini-games etc. You get to see the Normandy's crew just hang out and have fun, for a change. Compared to most content in ME3, which can be quite grim, this expansion has a very tongue-in-cheek tone throughout. Some parts are just downright hilarious, which is a nice change. Anyway, I think Citadel actually had the most 'bang for buck' of the expansions, although it's still not exactly cheap.

Overall, the DLCs add a fair amount of fun content and variety to ME3, easily adding 10+ hours of gameplay. I do, however, feel that, at full price, they're somewhat overpriced. The four major single player expansions together (in the PSN store for my region, as of the writing of this post) cost almost as much as a new game, and probably a fair amount more than you'd actually pay for ME3 these days. Which is just ridiculous. Well, I guess it's hard to be a fan of anything without someone, somewhere squeezing money out of you...

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